20 August 2004

How to Keep Your Classic Safe in a Hurricane

The predictions for a tough year came true when the Atlantic seacoast was hit by Hurricane Charley. However, hurricane season is not over yet. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration also predicts between twelve to fifteen tropical storms and eight to twelve hurricane systems for 2004 along the Atlantic seacoast. This prediction is a three- to fourfold increase over 2003's major storm activity.

The Hagerty Protection Network wants to help protect you and your classic from these powerful storms. Your own safety is the top priority, but by planning ahead for the two critical months, August and September, your classics can also be saved from the ravaging effects of a hurricane. Before a hurricane watch becomes a hurricane warning, make sure you are prepared and please consider the following safety tips:

Before the Hurricane

  • Make an evacuation plan before the hurricane strikes. Include a safe place to leave your classic, and plan two routes to get there in case one is blocked.
  • Listen to weather reports. This can be vital to evacuating on time
  • The garage door is the largest and weakest entry point to the home, with about 80% of hurricane damage starting here. Make sure your garage door is made of solid material such as steel or thick wood to withstand the high winds of a hurricane. In addition, install vertical braces and consider strengthening the tracking system of the door. This will not only protect your vehicle, but your entire home.
  • Entry doors to your garage should have at least three hinges and the dead bolt security lock should be one inch long.

After the Hurricane

Hurricane safety does not end with the hurricane, so do not return home until the authorities tell you it is safe to do so. Flooding and debris can cause new hazards once the hurricane has passed.

  • Be sure to check for downed power lines or gas leaks as well as rodents or snakes that might have taken refuge in your home.
  • Wear heavy shoes and clothing while checking the damage to protect yourself against injury from debris.
  • Water may have leaked into the walls and ceiling of your home and garage, so watch for falling walls and plaster as well as for water on the floor.
  • Although your first instinct may be to put your vehicle up on blocks to keep it dry, this may cause damage to the suspension. If necessary, store your classic elsewhere until all necessary repairs are made to your home.

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